Solo travel expenses may carry a slightly higher price tag; after all, the costs aren’t shared with anyone else. But saving money on a lone voyage is far from impossible, and traveling on a budget doesn’t have to be restrictive. With knowledge of available resources, foresight and a bit of luck, anyone can snag a few fantastic travel deals, and embark on their next odyssey without breaking the bank.
Cheap travel essentials
Making the most of traveling solo means never neglecting the off season, when crowds are sparse and deals are easy to come by. It’s also a good idea to build a budget ahead of time that accounts for your preferences; perhaps you’d like to spend more on entertainment, or maybe your priority is sampling the local cuisine. Those for whom the journey matters more than the destination might look into locations where prices in general are lower, as there are plenty of worthwhile places to visit where living costs are minimal. Even some cruise lines offer both off-season discounts and special solo traveler pricing.
Vacation rentals like Airbnb are a great alternative to hotels; in addition, summer travelers in select locations might be able to rent a university dorm room. Other avenues not to be overlooked include couchsurfing, as well as package deals from traditional providers like AAA or Costco. Hostels often have a communal vibe, and may be perfect for travelers seeking to socialize.
Eating on a budget
If you’re craving top cuisine at its cheapest, look no further than the lunch menu. At high-end restaurants, dinners are usually more expensive than lunch, but the quality of food doesn’t change. Street vendors with long lines and a steaming, fresh selection are usually a safe bet. Eating vegetarian, or purchasing from the deli or produce sections of local grocers will also save money, and staying hydrated can be as inexpensive as carrying an empty water bottle through airport security and filling it at the gate.
Staying in touch
Getting a local (or multi-country) SIM card, and installing it into an unlocked phone is a cheap way to communicate abroad. If you’d prefer to leave your expensive new phone at home, you can always buy an older model, or rent a used phone. Budget hotels usually offer free-wifi as a perk, and you can usually find free wifi in chain establishments like Mcdonalds, or in coffee shops. Be sure to make use of apps like Skype, Facetime and WhatsApp, which enable calling and texting using only wifi. Many free travel apps also offer guides and other valuable assistance.
Travel can be expensive, especially for those who go it alone. Thanks to these and so many more useful strategies for reducing the costs of travel, however, the solo expedition of a lifetime has never been more affordable.